The Student Parking Situation

The Student Parking Situation

The cost of purchasing a year long parking pass at Nashoba Regional High School is $75. For most students, it seems as though this is a high price to pay for just parking, especially as a student. Of course, there needs to be funds for plowing, maintenance, etc. However, with passes costing $75 each, and 250 parking passes sold, that would mean the school is bringing in approximately $18,750 from pass sales alone. If it costs $18,750 each winter to plow snow and paint parking lines/numbers the school needs to make some major adjustments. Dr. Graham explains “The price of a parking pass has been the same all four years I have been here, so I don’t know how it was originally set. I have heard from principals from other high schools about how much they charge for parking passes, and it varies by school (there are a couple that even allow free parking) but we tend to be on the low side as far as our cost.” Perhaps part of the $18,750 could be used to pave more spaces in areas currently occupied by grass located in the front of the building.

Some students speculate that the high cost is due to the shortage and high demand of spaces available for students. Although parking is limited on campus and the demand for passes is high, the districts lack of ability to keep up with demand due to the growing local populations should not affect student’s finances. Schools are not a business and therefore should not be looking to profit of students and families. It is not clear whether or not significant profits are being made by the school, however, many students question what the money generated by pass sales actually goes to. Dr. Graham explains, “The money goes into an account that is used for things such as plowing, painting lines in the lot (for example, we paid to have all of the numbers painted last summer), and other work that needs to be done to maintain the lots.”

Although the school claims that the money generated from the passes is used, perhaps the cost should be dropped. Nashoba junior, Katie Everton says, “Considering the amount of the parking spaces the school has, the school should charge less.” Even though there is a space issue, it seems as though the school is taking in more money than is actually needed in order to keep up with parking maintenance. Emma Picaro, a Nashoba senior, adds, “I believe the price should be dropped for all students. However, I especially think the cost for seniors should be less considering the fact that we get out of school earlier [in May].”

In relation to the price is the shortage of parking space available. Until much needed refurbishments and expansions can go underway at the high school, perhaps administration should look at some alternative ways to free up some more parking spaces. One possible modification to the system could be altering the qualifications for purchasing a parking pass. One suggestion could be that students must maintain a minimum GPA (such as a 3.0) to be able to purchase a parking pass, or be charged a lower cost. If this idea were implemented, ideally, it would free up some space as well as create more of an incentive for juniors and seniors to keep their grades up. Creating qualifications based on academics would make having a parking pass more of an actual privilege.

No matter what happens, it is clear that the parking situation, along with most of the building, needs refurbishment. Whether it means dropping prices, expanding the lot, or finding creative alternatives, administration should work towards improving the student parking lot in any way possible.